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Group Read Books - archive > Gray Mountain Chapters 9-16 Spoilers welcome

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message 1: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14402 comments For discussion of chapters 9-16; if possible, the first participants to post could add a brief summary to guide the discussion of these chapters please.


message 2: by Barry (new)

Barry (barrypz) | 2997 comments 9.
In court, they learn that the “domestic” may have been more of a mutual fight that one way. In any event, the court scene was rougher that she was prepared for, and she wondered what she was doing there. She has dinner with Annette, and they compare lives, neither living one to envy. Annette tells Sam she is tough enough to do this.

10.
Sam is given the front desk, managing the phones and clients. Francine Crump, 80 years old, show up to get a will made, one that cuts her ungrateful children out of her estate. Turns out she had some land worth some money, so Sam defers to mull the case over.
Meanwhile Donovan offers Sam a paying job, in addition to the internship.

11.
Mattie takes Sam on a field trip. She gets to see coal trucks and blasted, stripped mountains. The real purpose though was a court appearance, where Mattie schools Sam on the rough and tumble tools of their trade.
At the end of the day, Sam looks at the NY Times. She feels a pang of homesickness.

12
Donovan takes Sam out on a recon of coal country. Sam found Donovan to be quite fit, but found she was not. Still she was determined to not bog him down. We learn that Donovan, who had been described as married, was, in fact, separated. A friend of Donovan, Vic, shows up to join them. After watching the coal guys a while they are spotted and have to run.

13.
Sam is heading off on another field trip with Donovan. He has a small plane and intends to take Sam up in it. She is less sure. They do go up, and Sam gets a tour of strip mines and slurry ponds from the air. Then they landed, and Sam got a look at the personal suffering of the people living in the shadow of coal.

14
On the way back, Donovan lets Sam fly the plane a bit. He asks her where she wants to go, she says Grey mountain, so they go, and he tells her more of his back story. He then drops Sam off and leaves to see his wife and kids.
Sam notices that Annette, the other lawyer is acting a bit cool to her. She suspects it is about Donovan.

15.
Sunday comes, and Sam gets a slow start. Sam gets in her own car and heads out for real burger and fries.
Sam declines the job with Donovan. His methods occasionally went rogue to fight fire with fire, and she was not ready for that.
Sam read some background material, and found in it the sad sotry of the death of Mattie’s father to black lung, all without compensation due to the fighting of the coal lawyers.

16.
Sam is alone and gets a real hard case. Woman who has lost everything due to a collection agency. The earlier domestic she worked turned to crap, and the will she was doing collapsed. Not a good day. Sam files her first real lawsuit though, then goes to check on Donovan’s latest trial.


Melodie (melodieco) | 3604 comments The recon trips that Donovan takes Sam on were the things of nightmares, but unfortunately they are real and are happening in these areas, 24/7. The rape and poisoning of the land in Appalachia by big coal is nothing short of criminal. Black lung is rampant and people fight the coal companies for the benefits that they should be getting by law for years. Many go to their graves never collecting the first dime. Francine Crump's will brought a smile to my face, as I know a woman who did just what she did.


message 4: by Barry (new)

Barry (barrypz) | 2997 comments We did a motorcycle trip last year to coal country, first stop Centralia Pa. What a horror show.


Melodie (melodieco) | 3604 comments Barry wrote: "We did a motorcycle trip last year to coal country, first stop Centralia Pa. What a horror show."

West Virginia and eastern Kentucky are even worse.


Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7898 comments Melodie wrote: "The recon trips that Donovan takes Sam on were the things of nightmares, but unfortunately they are real and are happening in these areas, 24/7. The rape and poisoning of the land in Appalachia by ..."

It is hard to believe that this is going on in real life. It IS criminal!

Good for Francine Crump and for your friend with the will, Mel. Although in Francine's case it will surely land back in someone's lap as a contested will case. I wonder how THOSE turn out.


message 7: by Carol/Bonadie (last edited Nov 12, 2014 05:07AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7898 comments Melodie wrote: "Barry wrote: "We did a motorcycle trip last year to coal country, first stop Centralia Pa. What a horror show."

West Virginia and eastern Kentucky are even worse."


Where are the exposes of these situations? It's an outrage. I remember all of the hue and cry about fracking but that's fairly new.

I find myself wondering naively if all those extra profits are worth it.. we are a greedy society. This sent me back to look up Harlan County, USA, a film I've never seen but will track down.

I wonder if Grisham's spotlight on this situation will do any good.


Melodie (melodieco) | 3604 comments It is sad & scary, Carol. In the county my mom lives in, really MOST counties in eastern Kentucky, there are large "cancer clusters". Weird types of cancer that are traceable directly back to chemical and poisons. When my dad was still living they went to see his oncologist once and every seat along one wall in the waiting area was filled by someone from the county they live in. When Daddy went in for his appointment, Mom said the doctor looked at them and said, "What in the hell is going on in Morgan County?" He could have said the same thing about every surrounding county, too. Economic opportunity is extremely limited in many of these areas, so people are afraid to stand up to the companies that are killing them all.


LizH (liz_h) | 955 comments I spent a lot of time in these chapters deciding what is truth and what is fiction, wanting it all to be fiction because the truth is too painful.


Melodie (melodieco) | 3604 comments LizH wrote: "I spent a lot of time in these chapters deciding what is truth and what is fiction, wanting it all to be fiction because the truth is too painful."

The truth is even worse when you can look these people in the eye.


message 11: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 1270 comments It must be hard to read something as fiction, that is so close to the hurtful truth. Especially for you Melodie, who has lived it. Hopefully, since Grisham has such a wide audience, this book will help in some way.


message 12: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14402 comments I knew Samantha would take to this type of law and the people. I expected to not like the coal companies, but this is much much worse than I knew as far as the impact of strip mining and the terrible environmental and personal toll on the area and the people. Horrible. Criminal. And such a travesty. And who is going to protect these people and their lawyers?


Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7898 comments Adding this cuase to the list of things I would fund if I won the lottery. It's like the tobacco companies -- using their profits to inflict pain, and lying about it.


Melodie (melodieco) | 3604 comments Carol/Bonadie wrote: "Adding this cuase to the list of things I would fund if I won the lottery. It's like the tobacco companies -- using their profits to inflict pain, and lying about it."

That makes 2 of us, Carol!


Shomeret | 1371 comments Unfortunately, none of this is news to me. I've been involved in various environmental organizations and seen documentaries about mountaintop removal.

A former roommate is from West Virginia. Her mother died of Lou Gehrig's disease and she says it's widespread over there.


Carol/Bonadie (bonadie) | 7898 comments I didn't know that. If there's anything uglier than terminal cancer, it's Lou Gehrig's disease. That is tragic.

Shomeret wrote: "A former roommate is from West Virginia. Her mother died of Lou Gehrig's disease and she says it's widespread over there. ..."


Melodie (melodieco) | 3604 comments Shomeret wrote: "Unfortunately, none of this is news to me. I've been involved in various environmental organizations and seen documentaries about mountaintop removal.

A former roommate is from West Virginia. ..."


When you see it for real, it's even uglier than the pictures.


Sherry  | 3620 comments LizH wrote: "I spent a lot of time in these chapters deciding what is truth and what is fiction, wanting it all to be fiction because the truth is too painful."

same here, liz, although i know it's unfortunately all too true.


Donnajo | 3539 comments I'm finally up to chapter 18. Really getting into the book today.
It is so hard to believe this stuff but know it goes on. Scary.
I'm liking the characters and it is pulling me in to know will happen next.


Donnajo | 3539 comments I'm thinking that Sam will change her mind and say yes to Donovan. I like there connection. Not too sure about Annette part of me doesn't trust her.


message 21: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14402 comments Glad you are getting into the book, DonnaJo!
I think a big part of enjoying Gray Mountain was figuring out the characters' motivations and hoping we could hear about what could be done to save the mountains from damage and help the people impacted by the strip mining.


Melodie (melodieco) | 3604 comments Donnajo wrote: "I'm finally up to chapter 18. Really getting into the book today.
It is so hard to believe this stuff but know it goes on. Scary.
I'm liking the characters and it is pulling me in to know will ..."


It truly IS scary, DJ. This is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night since I'm way too familiar with the fallout from it all.


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